September 20, 2015
KARACHI: An international auditor has concluded that "there was undeniable evidence of a significant increase in viewership" of Express News Television that allegedly manipulated ratings.
"All household members began watching exact same minutes per week to the Express channels. This cannot happen without clear instructions on how the household should be watching the Express channels," Dawn quoted third-party international auditor Robert Ruud of Robert Ruud Analysetjenester as saying.
"The auditor cannot find a logical explanation for this viewing pattern except outside influence of the households."
The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) that met Saturday has granted Sultan Lakhani, Chief Executive Officer of Express Media Group 10 days to submit his reply on the alleged manipulation of viewership ratings.
PBA, taking notice of Lakhani's absence from their meeting, also extended for ten days the temporary suspension of Express Group's membership from its panel.
On September 8, Salman Danish, Chief Executive Officer Medialogic Pakistan (a television ratings company) had alleged at a press conference the Express Media Group was involved in malpractices to increase its television ratings.
On the other hand The Express Group said that Medialogic Pakistan demanded Rs450 million from the Express News Television's management and claimed it had evidences against the media group.
The paper said that Danish, chose his company’s employee Shaista and asked her to testify that Express News had pressured households to tune into the channel — an attempt that resulted in an increase in its overall ratings.
When Shaista refused to become a part of the malicious campaign, Danish, in collusion with police lodged a fake FIR against her, according to the paper.
Earlier, on September 9, the PBA suspended Express Group's membership temporarily.
Pakistan Observer, December 8, 2016
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